The “awakening” of gastronomic tourism and the new route in São José

THE Ponta de Baixo coastal neighborhood has several options of bars and restaurants and can become a route for gastronomic tourism

Located on the way between the beaches and the mountain region, São José does not want to be just a corridor between these two tourist destinations and, at 272 years of age, it is re-discussing its economic vocation. With an industrial park already in place and the service sector in consolidation, the City Hall of São José “discovered” during the pandemic that the city has an aptitude for gastronomic tourism and historical tourism, despite having few monuments, which are concentrated in the historic city center.

Ponta de Baixo, which has several options of bars and restaurants, can officially become a gastronomic route in São José – Photo: Leo Munhoz/ND

A study by Sebrae, contracted by the Secretariat of Economic Development, presented a diagnosis of the tourist potential of the municipality that indicates where and what investments should be made by the city hall.

The superintendent of Culture and Tourism, Gilmara Bastos, highlights that São José is safe, exemplifying that at Christmas the city was busy with people visiting the Santa Claus House and the decoration installed in the Hercílio Luz square.

“We received many families, people from neighboring cities, even from other states, who came here to meet, on tours until very late at night and there was no occurrence. They also saw the second oldest theater in Brazil around the square, the church that is so old, from 1765, the historical museum, installed in a 19th century mansion, all of this is here”.

The bill that creates the gastronomic route of Ponta de Baixo, presented by councilor Rodrigo de Andrade (PSD), which is in the process of being enacted by the mayor, arrived at the moment when these tourist discussions are being raised.

“Gastronomy is one of the factors inherent to tourism and our proposal is to promote gastronomic entrepreneurship in the city. And, more than that, valuing these places”, she pointed out.

A tourist route is, by definition of the Ministry of Tourism, “a sequence of existing attractions in a locality worthy of being visited and the route, as a planned tourist itinerary, established and associated with a theme”.

Ponta de Baixo, former resort Guararema

Ponta de Baixo is a seaside region that in the past was home to the potteries that made São José the “capital of earthenware”, when it supplied utensils to Florianópolis (since it was called Desterro) and to the cities of the Serra Santa Catarina. .

The place, which is also known as the Guararema bathhouse, was used by the families of José for leisure. “Then, over the years, with easier access to the [de Santa Catarina]and without a revitalization, in the late 80s, 90s, that region fell into oblivion of the population and was underused, not least because it had no attractions to go there”, recalls councilor Rodrigo.

He says that in the first administration of Mayor Adeliana dal Pont, a major revitalization of the waterfront was carried out, with the construction of the warehouse and a deck, “and that area gained a new life”, receiving the installation of more restaurants, since there were already two, Ponta de Baixo, opened in 1976, and Ponta do Mar, from 1993.

Other potential routes

Superintendent Gilmara recalled that, in addition to Ponta de Baixo, other places have a vocation to become gastronomic routes, in view of the natural concentration of establishments dedicated to cuisine, such as the Historic Center, Koesa Street, in Kobrasol, Heriberto Hülse , parallel to the BR-101, between the Barreiros and Serraria neighborhoods, which can also receive tourist signs to guide visitors to those points.

“With the gastronomic route, we can also move the local economy more, supporting entrepreneurs who invest in the city”.

For councilor Rodrigo, the gastronomic routes represent the promotion of economic activity without much investment. “I talked a lot with entrepreneurs in the region, and I am now trying to get them to come together in small groups, in association, to work and bring cultural activities, helping to undertake and foster the gastronomic economy of these sectors of the city”.

Seasoning is the business secret

With its doors open for almost 50 years, the Ponta do Mar restaurant maintains a tradition of offering seafood with a seasoning that is the secret of the business, as explained by Maicon Passing, who maintains the legacy left by her father Osni – who today accompanies far from work on the property. “We’ve been here a long time and the revitalization was the best thing that happened”

For Maicon Passig, from Ponta do Mar restaurant, the revitalization of the region helped to move the neighborhood – Photo: Leo Munhoz/NDFor Maicon Passig, from Ponta do Mar restaurant, the revitalization of the region helped to move the neighborhood – Photo: Leo Munhoz/ND

For Maicon, the proposal for the gastronomic route is very good, however, he does not believe that an association of entrepreneurs will change anything, “because whoever has the best food is the one who will earn more”, he says.

The manager of the Ponta de Baixo restaurant, Lucas Lacerda Teixeira, says that the gastronomic route will improve the visibility of the establishments.

“I believe it will be a channel for the public service to support the activities of entrepreneurs, increasing the offer of security, for example, so that we can become a showcase and expand the number of restaurants offering quality products”.

The owner of La Canoa restaurant, Tamires Borges, also believes that there will be more diversity in the offering of dishes. For her, “the Ponta is a beautiful place, but it was forgotten. The route will help to publicize more and bring more people here”.

Tamires Birges, owner of La Canoa, believes that the creation of a tourist route would help to promote the neighborhood more and bring more people to the region – Photo: Leo Munhoz/NDTamires Birges, owner of La Canoa, believes that the creation of a tourist route would help to promote the neighborhood more and bring more people to the region – Photo: Leo Munhoz/ND

She says that she opened the restaurant in the second wave of the pandemic and that she participated, with good results, in the Floripa Gourmet Gastronomic Festival, promoted by NDTV in December 2020. “We will participate this year again”, he promises.

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Waiter Ruan Ramon, 22, who lives in Praia Comprida (São José), has been working for a year and is looking forward to the creation of the gastronomic route, which he learned through the WhatsApp group that he and his colleagues use to exchange information about job opportunities. “It will give impetus, bringing tourists, increase the movement and create more job vacancies”, he believes.

The couple Angelita and Paulo Cesar Ghizoni live in Palhoça, where she works with car sales and he has a steakhouse in the Ponte do Imaruim neighborhood, but they went to celebrate his birthday in Ponta de Baixo.

They visit the restaurants in the area with some frequency. They like the menus specialized in seafood, but they complain about the difficulty in parking the family car. “The place is good here, we like the service, but there is no parking structure”, complains Angelita.

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